My weekend has consisted of 15 hour sleeps. Yes. 15 hours. And I still wake up exhausted.
The good thing is I am starting to feel like I’m coming out of the extreme fatigue and moving into just plain ol’ fatigue. I am up and around more and getting more things done around the house, but I rest after every accomplishment. My parents are still here so Mom can help me out… they will leave on Wednesday.
The bad thing is that I fall asleep about 15 minutes into the Olympics every night. And y’all, I cannot tell you how much I love the Olympics and how sad I am that I am missing everything! And poor Brian. He’s missing out on all my sobfests whenever we win the gold, which apparently is a lot. Go USA!
It will take roughly 6-8 weeks before I feel normal again, which is rather laughable considering we have no idea what “normal” is anymore. In the meantime, we know to expect a gradual increase in energy, emotional stability and body temperature.
As for my future. Well… there’s a lot ahead. Over the month of March I have 6 appointments and follow-ups. On March 2nd I have a diagnostic scan for followup on the breast cancer to check for recurrence, so I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. Can I just tell y’all how Satan has been attacking and plaguing me with fear?! I have little strength to fight the voices in my head that say, “Two weeks. Two weeks is all the celebration you have and then the other shoe will drop and they’ll say they see something, because, after all, that IS the story of your life.”
And the nightmares set in. The suffocating compressions on my chest in the black of night. The memories of all the pain and brutality of chemo and radiation and I think, “I can’t. I can’t do it all again. Please, God, don’t let it happen again. Please?” And I wake up clawing at the air, tears streaming down my face, and I reach out to feel for Brian.
It never wakes him. I don’t want to wake him. I just need something tangible to touch. To remind me that God is near. Then through the soft light streaming in windows I look at the face of my husband, and I weep for him. For the lines I see in his face that weren’t there 3 years ago, and I beg God to spare him any more of this. He is so tired, y’all, so very tired. He has been so faithful, y’all, so very faithful.
Beyond all this there are other follow-ups, all “just to be sure”. I have another iron infusion scheduled in April because my blood levels are so anemic. My body is just plum tuckered.
And then there are my hands. Do you want to see?
That is my left hand. And yes, my very beautiful wedding ring. See that sapphire wrap? Bri bought that for me on the 5 year anniversary of our engagement. His love language is NOT gifts. That makes this wrap even more meaningful. And as beautiful as it is, it’s not because of it’s beauty that I love it… it’s because of the beauty of my Bri’s love and even deeper of our Savior’s love for us. But I digress…
My right hand is swollen. Very swollen. It’s called lymphedema. It’s a result of the number of lymph nodes that were removed in my surgeries. And it’s painful. Very painful. There is fluid all around my joints. And it requires physical therapy. I haven’t gotten to physical therapy yet, because I can’t figure out how to manage that with all the other appointments. So I’m wearing this…
And singing Michael Jackson songs all day long whenever I do. Okay. Not really. Never was much of an MJ fan. My husband is shuddering right now… how could I NOT love the King of Pop?! Anyway, it’s called a compression glove and it helps keep the swelling compressed. But it also makes writing (which is a huge part of my life) and typing very difficult.
And the children. They are clingy and weepy. Sunday we went to Sunday School and Asher cried when we left him. Then we were planning to attend part of the service, but not all because of my fatigue. My parents would bring the children home, and Bri would take me home after the music. But when the time came for us to leave, Bear climbed on my lap and sobbed in his quiet Bear sort of way. “I don’t want you to ever leave me.” he whispered. So I sat through the whole service and snuggled him on my lap, because I couldn’t do it to him. We are all a mess, basically. Just a mess.
Sooooo… can you guess how I feel? I feel like everyone expects us to be crazy jumping over the moon excited that the cancer is gone.
We know for now that the cancer is gone. We are thankful. We are praising God.
But it’s all in a reserved, quiet celebration kind of way.
Because it’s not over. There are more tests and lots more recovery ahead, and it is exhausting to think through it all.
But we are together.
We are clinging to truth.
We are clinging to Him.
And we are cancer free.
Even if it’s just for two weeks.
We’re still cancer free.
But we still need your prayers.
And we still need His strength.
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